Every year Mary and I compete in a head to head competition to raise money for Sierra-Cascade Environmental and Resource Fund for the Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference. We each create and donate an original painting for the auction, and may the best painting win. They are auctioned at the Lumberjack Banquet and Education Auction. More on this below. Each year the loser has to write the auction report. We affectionately call it the “Loser Report”. Spoiler alert! Last year I was the loser so I’m writing the report. I’m almost a year late and we are preparing for the the 2020 Auction, which is happening this Friday! So without further adieu here is the 2019 Losers Report.
Last year I prepared a painting honoring a beloved logger in our community that had just passed away. His name was Jim Headrick. He was highly respected and well loved by those that knew him. A sentimental favorite. I titled it “Bull of the Woods.”
Mary was involved in preparing a clandestine painting of another respected logger in our community, Larry Strawn. She had been recruited by a friend and business partner to Larry named Delbert Gannon. Delbert secretly snuck Mary into Larry’s office to pilfer his prized photos for reference. Larry nearly caught her making her escape from their equipment shop, but she cleverly eluded him. When she created her piece she sneakily hid the identities of the people in the painting while it was on public display in the days before the auction. She titled it, “Blue Ridge Heritage.”
The way this auction works is that both paintings are auctioned at the same time. The winning bidder gets to choose the one he/she wants and the other painting goes back on the block to be auctioned again, or the winning bidder can choose to take both paintings at the winning bid price. This had never happened before.
The night of the auction came and the paintings were revealed! Larry knew he’d been had. We knew Delbert was going to be bidding on the painting of Larry to gift to him. However, Delbert didn’t know before that night that Mary had included him in the painting too! She surprised them both. We didn’t know who would bid for “Bull of the Woods.” The bidding began and was running up quickly. As it got near got near $5,000 the bidding began to slow. Delbert had yet to bid. Mary and I looked towards Delbert and wondered if he was going to bid. Then at $5,400 the auctioneer yelled “sold.” Johnny Miller of John Wheeler Logging had won the auction. When asked which painting he wanted, he said “I’ll take them both!” Delbert looked thunderstruck. The painting he planned to purchase was lost! Meanwhile, Johnny presented “Bull of the Woods” to Liz, Jim Headricks widow. It was very touching. Immediately after the presentation Delbert entered intense negotiations with Johnny to convince him to donate “Blue Ridge Heritage” back to be auctioned again. Mary and I were vigorously debating as to who was the winner and who would have to write the loser report. Then Johnny graciously donated Mary’s painting back to the auction and it went back on the block. This time Delbert was the successful bidder at $5,000. He then presented the painting to his friend Larry. It was one wild auction.
As a result both paintings originally sold for $5,400 individually, but Mary’s painting resold for $5,000. My painting brought $5,400 and hers fetched $10,400. The total to the Sierra-Cascade Environmental and Resource Fund from the paintings was $15,800. I think that makes them the big winner!
Coming up very soon, the painting submissions for the 2020 Sierra-Cascade Environmental and Resource Fund. Here we go again.
This week is the Forestry Education Auction. If you’not familiar with this let me explain. Each year, at the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Forestry Education Dinner and Auction, Mary A Livingston (my lovely bride) and I contribute two paintings to go on the auction block. There are many items being auctioned, but what’s different about our contribution is we go head to head in a husband vs wife bidding war! Only, we aren’t the ones bidding. What could possibly go wrong. The winning bidder gets to pick the painting they want and the other goes back on the block. The bidders don’t know which painting the other bidders are bidding on! It’s great entertainment, at least to Mary and me. I reblogged her entry on my previous post. I must say that I’m intrigued because there is a mystery behind her painting.
This painting is in rememberence and is a tribute to Jim Headrick. He was a fourth generation logger, Logger of Year, a true professional and an all around good man. He is missed. Cheers Jim!
We walked down a washed out road until we stood on a landing. Mary and I watched the light fade from the sky. Perched in a black oak tree, another hunter joined us. It was a solitary great horned owl beginning it’s evening hunt.
The Sierra Cascade Logging Conference is all over, but for the clean up. The Forestry Education Fund Auction was last night and it was a booming success. The final result of the entire fund-raiser was north of $100,000. Now if you’ve been following our blogs, you know that Mary (Sneaking Bliss) and I provide original art, which is bid in a competitive way. Both pieces of art are on the auction block together. The winning bidder gets to pick the painting of their choice and then bidding begins anew on the second place painting.
Here’s how things went down. Our paintings were items 18 and 19. This is a great place to be on the schedule, the early middle. There were fifty items to auction. Everyone was still there with plenty of money left for bidding. When our turn came they asked us to come up front and say a few words, but this auctioneer was a total pro. I didn’t have a chance to needle Mary with my witty comments when the auctioneer jumped right in and was talking so fast I could hardly keep up. The first bid opened at $1,000. This was a great start! Within seconds it shot up over $4,000. As it went above $5,000 things really got serious. A new bidder jumped in and one bidder got out. Then another dropped out and it looked like we had reached the end. Suddenly, the last bidder to drop out decide he wasn’t done and the bidding took off again. As it shot up to $7,000 then $8,000 I leaned behind the auctioneer and looked at Mary and she look at me with “what is happening here” looks on our faces. The auctioneer finally yelled “SOLD” and the bidding was done. One of our paintings just sold for $10,000! I was floored.
Now the moment of truth. The winner came up to claim his prize. We waited to see which painting it would be. Do you think he agonized over which painting to choose? Heck no! He beelined straight to Mary’s painting and snatched it off the display like he was rescuing a baby from a fire. Mary’s painting brought in $10,000 in support of forestry education! It was an amazing moment.
At this point my painting was back into the bidding and the auctioneer began searching for a new price. Long story short it fetched $5,000. Don’t get me wrong, this was a fantastic price. Higher than I’d seen before, but … she crushed me! Mary absolutely annihilated me! Together our art brought in $15,000. We were thrilled at its success and what it meant for the education fund.
Tonight I’m going to relax, lick my wounds and have a toast with my favorite competitor. Tomorrow will be soon enough to start thinking about redemption for next year. Congratulations Mary, you are an amazing artist!
Here it is folks, the final! It took me a bit longer to post because we were crazy busy, but it’s ready to go.
Tomorrow night it will be auctioned to raise money for the Sierra-Cascade Environmental and Resource Fund. This non-profit educates the public, students, and teachers about the wise management of our forests.They provide scholarships for local students interested in careers in the industry. Many of the programs supported are aimed at educating the urban regions of California, about practices that assure the health of our forests.
My painting will be auctioned in competition with Mary’s Painting. She also created a painting and you can see it here, Off-Highway Hauler. During the auction folks will be bidding on both paintings at once. The high bidder gets to pick the painting they want. The other is offered to the second place bidder who can take it or pass on it. Then it goes back to bidding. I beat her last year and now she’s back looking to take me down!
I’m continuing to work on the painting for the forestry education art auction. Here is the latest update. The inking is done and I’ve cleaned up most of the pencil lines. I find the pencil lines are very difficult to remove once the paper has been soaked.
The paper has been soaked and stapled onto the frame. Now mounted, it will be ready to paint as soon as it dries. It looks a little mottled from the moisture, but that fades as the water dries.
Nothing left to do but splash a bit of color on it! Hmmm? I wonder how the competition is coming along. Gee, I wish Mary, of Sneaking Bliss, would give me a little hint!
This watercolor was inspired by a chance encounter with a black bear while hunting a few years ago.